Why Millennials are prioritizing ‘experiences’ over stuff

A recent study by researchers in the Department of Psychology at the San Francisco State University showed people “enjoy greater well-being from life experiences and consider them to be a better use of money.” Additionally, Dr. Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University found that overall happiness with material and experiential purchases is approximately equal at the time of receipt. According to Gilovich, “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.” This means that the overall satisfaction with material things bought goes down over time, whereas satisfaction with the experiences they had actually increased.

Millennials are leading the way when it comes to this trend. Harris Group recently found that 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things. Your social media news feed is no doubt awash with people’s pictures of concerts, adrenaline-fueled adventures, 5k races, and food experiences. More and more, people are placing value in meaningful experiences as a demonstration of self-fulfillment. Just search for any travel-related hashtag for further proof.


1. Experience Gifts Are WAY More Special

More often than not, you’re not choosing a gift for just any random person. You are thinking of buying something special for someone you love and care about. As you grow older, you really do not care about what the gift is or how much it costs. You are much happier to know that you received something from that special someone. Many times, it is really “the thought that counts.


2. Memories and Meaningful Experiences Last Longer

To be honest, I don’t remember what I received for Christmas beyond last year. But I distinctly remember the when I received a road trip to my favorite “bulalohan” food place in Tagaytay with my closest friends where they pretended to bring me there but surprise me later on with an epic drinking party. Gadgets fade, but experiences and memories only grow sweeter with time. Even the miserable experiences and unforeseen happenstances eventually turn into stories of laughter, even if they felt cringe-worthy at the time.

I remember when we first organized our Singles Road Trip back in 2015. One of the joiners for that trip was gifted with a surprise by her own boss. Her boss told her that she booked a trip for her with Experience Philippines so she can have a time for herself and meet other people. She is so thankful to her boss for doing something extra for her whenever she recalls the moment she got the surprise. Until now, she is happy remembering her first Experience Philippines Road Trip.


3. Experiences build relationships

Hopefully pretty much all of us have memories of Christmas fun with loved ones, gathered around Noche Buena, laughing and playing games, sharing meals and exchanging gifts. But after the “Uy, tumaba ka!” or “Kelan ka magaasawa?” greetings our Tita’s in Christmas we probably go back to the mundane routine of waking up and going to work until the next Christmas reunion. Sure Christmas and birthday celebrations may have brought some shiny gadgets into your life, but giving and receiving experiences can almost always prolong and even turbo-charge your relationships with those who accompany you on said adventures.

Why not whisk your loved one away for a (surprisingly affordable) weekend city break doing Skin Diving off the beautiful reefs of Bauan, Batangas or be an Ocean Ambassador and learn about marine life during a Marine Life Camp, or fly high doing Tandem Paragliding. or go somewhere adventurous but closer to home? The bonds you form while traveling and experiencing things with those you care about will make everyone involved far happier than some shiny expensive material thing.

Most material gifts received around Christmas or Birthdays are mostly only useful to those receiving said gift. They are largely solitary, whereas most experiences, especially when chosen with care are not only shareable, but actually are maximised by experiencing them with other people.


4. The Do’s and Don’ts of gifting experiences

DO put the time in. Thoughtful gifts take time to plan, and no one wants a last-minute bargain.

DON’T overthink it. There are a million different things that would make your loved ones happy. The most important thing is that they see how much you care. Take the time to plan but when you find something great, don’t second guess yourself.

DO try and understand what sort of traveler they are. Some people love chill kind of stuff, and others prefer adrenaline-pumping adventure.

DON’T overdo it. There are many amazing experiences in the Philippines. Check out some of them below.

DO pick something they can do with someone else. It would be nice to have some enjoy the experience with you.

DON’T regret investing in experiential gifts. While you might not be giving them the latest iPhone on Christmas Eve, remember you’re giving them a lifetime of wonderful memories.


Check out some of the amazing Experience Gifts we have in Experience Philippines. HAPPY GIFTING!!! (Click on the picture to purchase via PayPals Secure website.)